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Comment 09 MARCH 2012

Weathering tempestuous times

09 MARCH 2012

"Nineteen ninety two is not a year I shall look back on with undiluted pleasure. It has turned out to be an 'annus horribilis'. "

This was how the Queen addressed a surprised nation in her Christmas speech that year.

And indeed, it took a very testing twelve months to force the resolutely stoic royal to reveal her feelings in such a public manner.





A month earlier, her favourite residence, Windsor Castle, had gone up in smoke.

"Her Majesty is devastated," said Prince Andrew as his mother lamented the horrific damage caused by the fire instead of celebrating her 45th wedding anniversary.

And it was not the only trauma for the monarch – her children's marriages were also unravelling.





Princess Anne was granted a divorce from Captain Mark Phillips and went on to marry Commander Tim Laurence at the end of the year.

Her sons, the Duke of York and Prince Charles also separated from their wives.

On top of all that, she was pelted with eggs by neo-Nazis when she visited Dresden, and her favourite corgi, Sparky, died.

Heartbroken, she buried the dog herself in the grounds of Balmoral.


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